Yes, Mindfulness Can Make You a Better Contender
“Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to keep doing it”- Sharon Saltzberg
Have you ever relaxed in front of your TV set watching your favorite show? It seems like you're paying grasp attention. But, only for you to realize that the show has just ended and you missed nearly half of it. Or you start scooping a bowl of ice cream and suddenly noticed there’s nothing in the bowl anymore?
You aren’t alone; most of us have experienced it. These are signs of mindlessness, which scientists refer to as “being on autopilot.” That’s right—you’re practically not yourself when such occurrence happens.
A survey carried out by Harvard revealed that people spend 46.9 percent of their day mind-wandering. The research further stated that the more your mind wanders, the less happy you’ll be, which would likely affect your capability as a better contender.
Interestingly, it’s possible to improve your focus, limit the hours of mind-wandering, and eventually become a better contender.
Yes, you can—if you’ll adhere to the nuggets and instructions revealed in this post.
Are you ready? Dive in!
Mindfulness: What Is It Exactly?
In simple terms, mindfulness is what you are when you’re not mind-wandering or suffering from mindlessness.
It means coming out of the autopilot and handling the steering of your attention and life.
Practicing mindfulness involves the maintenance of the moment-by-moment alertness of your feelings, thoughts, surrounding environment, and bodily sensations. It also involves you paying attention to your feelings and thoughts with an active approach of an impartial witness—without taking or believing them personally.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of MBSR and professor of medicine, defined mindfulness as paying attention; in the present moment, non-judgmentally and on purpose. This definition is what brings us to the three components of mindfulness.
The Three Main Components of Mindfulness
These components will show you the three specific ways your attention can change gears when you decide to practice mindfulness consciously.
1. In the Present Moment
Your mind will naturally and habitually wander away from every present moment you find yourself in if you leave your mind to its own devices; it gets caught up in the reel of projecting into the future and replaying the past. What this means is that your mind rarely stays in the present moment without direction.
Attentiveness can only be entirely engaged in your present moment experience. Thus, you have to let go of the pull of wanting things different or wanting things more. It's best to accept the present moment as it is.
Practicing mindfulness doesn’t mean you’ve to suppress, stop, or control your thoughts.
Instead, you should aim to pay attention to your experiences as they come up without judging or labeling them as good or bad.
With mindfulness, you become the watcher of so many things. You watch your thoughts, emotions, and perception without getting caught up in them.
Embracing the idea of being a watcher is what you need. It will help prevent you from playing out your old habitual way of thinking and living. As an alternative, you’ll open up new freedom and choices in your life.
3. On Purpose
Mindfulness consists of the deliberate and conscious direction of your attention. What happens to you when you’re not alert? Your attention is swept up negatively by a never-ending current of thought process.
When you’re mindful, you develop purpose and step out of the autopilot current. That way, you focus your attention on what you desire. “Consciously” is another word for “on purpose.” Thus, you live a more conscious, more awake, and focused when you lead a purposeful existence.
How Can You Practice Mindfulness to Become a Better Contender?
Now, that we know the definition of mindfulness and its three primary components, what’s next?
There is an old saying that goes: Abuse is inevitable when you don’t know the purpose of a thing! In this section, we’ll explain how to practice mindfulness to become a better contender. First off, it’s crucial for you to note that there are two primary ways to practice mindfulness: formally or informally.
Another name for the formal practice of mindfulness is meditation. Perhaps you would never have thought that meditating is the formal way to practice mindfulness, but it is.
Meditation, in simple terms, is a self-directed practice for calming the mind and relaxing the body. Moreover, meditation is a form of mindfulness that helps you to stay aware and present at the moment.
Later in this article, we’ll show you how practicing mindfulness or meditation affects athletics.
The usual things we do daily with our full consciousness are forms of informal practice of mindfulness. For example, cleaning the dishes, brushing your teeth or cooking lunch. These are excellent ways to practice mindfulness informally.
Thus, whether you go for your morning walk with your dog or drive to work, you’ll be practicing informal mindfulness.
You don’t have to carve out a particular time to practice informal mindfulness. You can practice it at any time.
The next time you’re in the gym for your training, become mindful of what’s going around you. By focusing your mindful attention on your thoughts, body, and environment. That way, you’ll be practicing informal mindfulness.
Also, ensure to discipline your mind to avoid any form of distractions, but be curious about your outcome and experience.
How does Formal Mindfulness or Meditation Affect Training?
If you've ever played a sport before, then you should know that most times your biggest obstacle is what lies in your head. Stress, getting caught up on past mistakes, or lack of focus can sabotage your athletic performance.
The big question on your mind is: how can you overcome all these challenges and be a better contender? The answer is simple: by meditating.
These days, we have seen many contenders become successful by practicing meditation. Here are five ways meditation can improve your training:
1. Increases Your Focus level
Meditation is a unique way for you to focus on the present moment. As a contender, you tend to face a ton of distractions when you perform. It could be your past mistakes, noise from other contenders, or intimidation from your opponent. These distractions can affect you negatively.
Practicing meditation will strengthen your focus level on the task at hand. When your focus level is high, you’re bound to succeed.
2. Empowers You to Cope with Pain
As a contender, it’s common to be in pain or discomfort sometimes, with all the intense training you go through regularly.
Recent research revealed that meditation helps to reduce sensitivity to pain. The findings showed that meditation helps contenders push through tough moments of training. Also, it gives them the ability to cope with the pain when it hurts the most.
3. It Decreases Stress
Contenders are often under stress. Even though stress can be good, too much can hinder performance. Thus, it’s essential to find ways to minimize their stress level.
Meditation is a great way to reduce every form of anxiety, pressure, and all sorts of destructive emotions. In so doing, it shrinks the amygdala—which is the brain’s flight or fight center.
It’s the region of the brain associated with fear and emotion. A recent survey revealed that people who engage in mindfulness experience less anxiety, stress, physical distress, or depression.
4. Enhances Sleep Patterns
Meditation limits insomnia and improves sleep patterns. Consequently, you experience an increase in your physical and mental strength, alongside the reduction of lethargy.
Contenders who lack adequate sleep experience a lot of adverse effects, such as the inability to focus, unintentional weight loss or gain, increased anxiety, or even mood disturbances.
Incorporating meditation into your daily routine helps your relaxation response. That way, your sleep pattern improves, and insomnia disappears.
5. Improves your Immune System
Apart from improving your sleep, meditation also improves your immune system. Studies have revealed that meditation plays a significant role in enhancing health, and that people who engage in meditation have a lower chance of falling ill. As such, contenders can live a healthier life if they stick to their meditation routine.
Is Training or Exercise Related to Meditation?
Meditation and mindfulness could have a profound impact on your total health. Plus, it’s more effective when you combine it with exercise. So, no matter your fitness preference, whether it’s abs workouts, cardio, deep breathing exercises, yoga or strength training, meditation will come in handy.
To answer the above question: yes, training or exercise has a connection with meditation. Meditation helps you to focus your energy and attention during your training. With meditation, you’ll get the most out of your workout.
Meditation keeps you motivated during your exercises. It's possible because it reminds you that there’s a prize to achieve at the end.
We can’t overemphasize that a contender has to bring their “A” game to reach their goals. For you to successfully pull through a tough session, you have to channel your energy on what works. Engage in the right training, practice your skills, eat the right food, and sleep well.
Nonetheless, you can’t achieve much, no matter how hard you try, if you’re going through the motions. That’s why you need to form the habit of practicing mindfulness consciously every day. As a result, you’ll be a better contender in and out of the ring. Take a conscious step to join one of our Gloveworx training sessions today.